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Input Devices Hardware

Eye-controlled Laptop Presented At CeBit 43

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the stop-looking-at-that dept.
siliconbits writes "Microsoft is rumoured to be one of their partners; maybe they'll built it in the next Kinect. 'Computer manufacturer Lenovo has partnered with Swedish startup Tobii Technology to launch the world's first eye-controlled laptop, which will be on display as from today at CeBIT in Hannover.'"
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Eye-controlled Laptop Presented At CeBit

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  • by solevita (967690) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @09:47AM (#35346780)
    Maybe the next Slashdot summary will be built it in English.
  • Cool interface. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Timmmm (636430) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @09:50AM (#35346796)

    It seems the most innovative thing is not the actual eye-tracking, but coming up with an interface that is actually useful, and not just "the mouse follows your eye", which as the guy rightly says would be really annoying.

    Does anyone know how the tech works? It looks like you can see two infra-red emitters in the sensor area...

    • Two infra-red sources bounce invisible light off the user's retinas. The reflected light is picked up by two cameras and the data used to calculate exactly where the user is looking.

      That's from a different, albeit shorter article. That being said, I can't confirm it from Tobii's actual website.

      here's the link, just in case. [reghardware.com]
      http://www.tobii.com/en/eye-tracking-integration/global/ [slashdot.org]">and of course, Tobii themselves.
    • Given that eye tracking has been used for years(though usually in slightly bulkier rigs) for things like attention study, website layout optimization, etc. it certainly isn't the novelty.

      You usually generate a "heat map" of where the user is focusing, then tweak your layout/visual cues so that the test users find that their eyes are "guided" naturally around your layout. Turning that into a UI that would be attractive to somebody with a functioning lower body, though, is an interesting challenge...
  • Hmmph (Score:5, Funny)

    by return 42 (459012) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @09:52AM (#35346804)

    Silly idea (rolls eyes) dsf(^*7w35487z wait, what happened?

  • Tobii is not necessarily considered a startup. It's been around for a while now and has been selling eye tracking solutions to the scientific community. Hopefully the 'general market' will drive prices down on these suckers though. 8k for what is basically a 120fps camera is a bit much. Where I work, we do gaze and eye tracking with a single IR camera.

    • Yeah. Tobii has been shipping some really sweet tablet communication devices for people with disabilities with eye tracking for a couple years now. I've played with a few of them and they work pretty well (though operating Windows with it is tiring).
      The price tag on that eye-tracker add-on is jaw-dropping. I'm hoping that this tech can go mainstream, making it come down in price to make it more available to people with special needs who need it.

  • There are some web pages that instantly pops up a tooltip while hovering over a link (sometimes very big, covering everything on the surroundings).

    I find that extremely annoying, even nowadays using the mouse, so I guess trying to read those pages using this tech will be next to impossible.

    Please get rid of it, just like the infamous blinking text
  • First Person Shooter games just got much, much easier. Maybe now I'll be able to k
  • by Anonymous Coward

    What about the fairly large portion of the population that suffers from strabismus [wikipedia.org]?

    How well can this tech work if the eyes are not only not-aligned, but that their degree of misalignment changes from hour to hour?
     

    • by natehoy (1608657)

      I'm assuming a decent algorithm could compensate for this. After all, you really only need information from one eye to track eye movement. So the user chooses which eye they want tracked, and the computer tracks that eye and ignores the other.

    • Tobii's devices have a really quick calibration process. If you find your eye convergence changes as you fatigue, it's easy to just recalibrate once in a while to adjust.

  • the cursor would get in the way of any porn.

    although, it would stop those stupid mouse over ads, just never look at them!

  • by PPH (736903)
    It would never work. The Microsoft people are developing a system for people with two eyes. Apple will only work with a cyclops. And all the *nix/ X11 variants will require three eyes.
  • ...blink and you'll miss it!! Another thought - what happens when your missus starts trying to read the screen over your shoulder?
    • by natehoy (1608657)

      So, "Don't Blink"

      You don't want to anyway, the weeping angels will get you.

      • by SimonTS (1984074)
        Not the Angels. That was the most terrifying Doctor Who in years - if not ever. What a nasty thought. Every time you blink, the next crash of your Windows systems comes a step closer. Better learn how to wink, or sleep with one eye open.
  • by psm321 (450181) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @12:24PM (#35348076) Journal

    I've wanted a "focus follows eyes" option for a long time. The place where I think I'm typing is usually what I'm looking at, which doesn't correspond to where my mouse is (for focus-follows-mouse), and occasionally (rarely) I'll forget to click the right place for click-to-focus

    • by Yold (473518)

      what if you hold a button to track with your eyes?

      As someone with mounting RSI problems, who has tried everything short of surgery, this will be a godsend if it is available within 5 years.

    • by grangerg (309284)
      What I want is a "snap-to/focus-on what I'm looking at" button on the mouse. I don't want focus following my eyes by default, but I do want to have a dedicated hardware button that makes it jump to what I'm looking at.
      • by psm321 (450181)

        Interesting. It wouldn't be very helpful for me because my use case is when I accidentally start typing thinking it's going to go where I'm looking. I can see the annoyance of focus always following eyes though... maybe it only switches when you type? Anyways, that's what options/settings are for... the really interesting part would be the technology to achieve any of these.

  • Now, if they can only devise a less intrusive way to do subvocal recognition [wikipedia.org], UI's will be able to practically read our minds.

  • "Breaking news today: Online ads for porn sites has received an increase in clicks by 12 000% over the last year"
  • - Aw c'mon baybeh, don't be like that, you know I only have eyes for you...
    - Oh, really? (opens her new laptop, pulls up her Facebook profile picture, and a pic of Christina Hendricks at an award show, displays them on the left and right sides of the monitor. sits him in front of it.) OK, now stare at my picture ONLY for one full minute.(looks at her watch.) Aaaannnd GO!

    (Two minutes later...)

    - (picking his clothes up off the sidwalk) That wasn't frickin' fair! Can't we talk about this?
    - And you can t
  • by fsterman (519061) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @03:47PM (#35350346) Homepage

    Tobii is THE leader and defacto industry standard in eye tracking, they have offices in 4 countries. Other equipment requires that they keep their head still, with a Tobii, after a single calibration and a participant can not only move their head around, they can get out of the chair, come back, and keep on going.

    Of course their research equipment goes for >$30,000. I know an HCI person who just happened to take some tracking equipment home at his last day of a bankrupt .com startup... No one will ever miss it!

  • I don't believe in eye tracking as a replacement for the mouse.

    Using a mouse, I don't have to stare at the mouse pointer or the target. I can make quick glances at where the pointer and the target is, and then my brain can do the "computations" in the background that allow me to use my hand to move the mouse pointer to the target and do the action I want. This is called proprioception. The brain is trained to use the mouse as an extension of my arm.

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